A bill in the Kentucky legislature described by advocates as “medical marijuana” advanced out of a House committee on Wednesday.
The House Judiciary Committee passed the measure on a 17-1 vote. The bill moves to the full House next, and if the measure passes the full House, it would move on to the Senate.
Some committee members pointed to overwhelming support from constituents back home to legalize medical marijuana as they voted for the bill. Advocates say medical marijuana would lessen dependence on pain medications in a state haunted by opioid addiction.
Medical marijuana is already legal in 33 states.
Smoking medical cannabis would not be permitted under the bill. Consumption could take place through such forms as pills and oils. A regulatory board would determine what conditions would qualify for doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients. The board would consist of eight doctors, four public advocates and a pharmacist.
Opponents argued that more research is needed on the health benefits of medical marijuana.
The bill could be heard in the full House as early as tomorrow.